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Goal setting and understanding

14 March, 2013

I’m trying to focus on the elephant but it keeps getting caught up in distractions around me and my dizzying thoughts.

The house was woken up this morning to a crash as one of the cats had pulled down a corner shelf onto the floor tipping the pictures and ornaments off. It was one of those “awake” moments when you are woken from a deep sleep and have no idea what’s going on around you. I’m not even sure if I put my glasses on – which is always handy when looking for a culprit and evidence!

My youngest boy helped me and hubby (obviously on a delayed start) was asking what was going on as I made my way back to my room. The only soul that didn’t stir for the noise is the one whose bedroom the shelf fell outside of!

Yesterday the coffee just didn’t work for me. This morning after I tried dozing before the alarm call (following the 5.18 crash) I lay catching up on the wonderful world of Facebook trying to will myself awake to shower. I don’t normally subscribe to watching videos on my phone but clicked on one that apparently earned some intrepid cameraman a cool million – *spoiler* lions attack buffalo, who get attacked by an alligator, who get beaten up by the buffalo freeing the youngster, happy ending.

Time to get up. Feeling very “meh” and running out of time to leave I went down, took my meds, didn’t bother with making a “coffee to go” thinking I could go to the store this morning, grabbed a yoghurt for lunch because lasagna was too much and left. We ended up locking our beagle in the house in the process and the retriever hasn’t eaten either (he’s picky). Middlest boy driving (he’s working on his L’s) we left.

After I was left alone in the car with the kids all dropped off on my way to work I headed in to find a parking spot. My heart just wasn’t in my day. The only thing keeping me going was the fact that I’d an appointment with J in the late morning.

As I walked up the city street my coffee shop was on I knew I was running out of time for a coffee and to get back to the office in time for 9 o’clock. I also knew that if I didn’t get my coffee I would be less than useless for the entire morning (and did I care?). I thought of stopping and sitting on the bench and saying “stuff it”. I didn’t even want to speak on the phone to say I wouldn’t be in today.

Arrived at work, changed, got up to the office and was greeted by a supervisor who said “Oh, there you are. I was just about to ring you.” It was 9.05am and I was due to start at 9. I still had my sunglasses on as I hadn’t stopped to change them. He stood at my desk and then asked me “What hours are you working today?” as if they had changed. Way to go setting me even lower than before! I know, it’s not as if he knew already that I was in a really depressed frame of mind but still, it irritated.

Then I was informed that my section was supposedly on filing duties for the day. Well I saw red. I hate how my section gets the filing when it’s another section that makes the paperwork. My poor colleague got a tongue lashing as I said they should be doing the damn filing and later when she said we shouldn’t all be out doing the filing at once I said “Well what does she bloody want then?!” I went and apologised for taking my frustrations out on her.

Going to J was really good as it turned out. I need to finish a pamphlet she gave me on depression because I had stopped short of setting goals when I was reading through it last week thinking a goal is something bigger than I could deal with but this booklet takes it back a step.

In it are goals which seem easy for everyone but for me are becoming little mountains in my path, the heading is called “Reactivating your life”:

Personal rewarding activities (I’ll pass over that one – the only thing I do is have coffee and do my Photoaday thing – I guess I’m not good at treating myself).

Self care – ideas such as getting dressed, taking a shower, eating breakfast – I dressed in jeans, t-shirt (which will be hidden) and a hoodie (I felt like a grungy day and just wanted to hide in comfortable clothes). Today I understood how taking a shower could be seen as a goal and as for eating breakfast I think I saw not eating breakfast (about a quarter cup of cornflakes in some milk) as punishment so my fish oil capsule would repeat on me all morning.

Small duties – this got me, big time – Opening the mail (I have avoided opening the mail and this has turned out to bite me with my motorbike insurance which I subsequently got a text message to tell me it was expiring that weekend, oops). Paying the bills (I’ve either avoided doing that because they are mostly automatic). Grocery shopping (hubby has taken on this task for the most part as he can stick to a budget better than me but the short answer is I couldn’t be arsed! Aside from that I will get shopping for incidental stuff. Housecleaning (cough, excuse me?!) The booklet says this will make a difference because it reduces tension with others as you begin to take on a share of the work. I guess I never quite looked at my journey into depression causing tension for the kids and hubby in that way.

As I write that all down I have to retrace my steps as things slowly sink in:

Personally rewarding activities – Increasing your activity in this area will make a difference because: it reminds you of your own interests, the things that are important to you. Seriously in the depths of my depression I don’t care, I don’t want to partake, I don’t see it as a reward. It provides you with badly-needed rewards as your depression starts to lift. Do I deserve rewarding? Is me taking a photo really a reward? Is me having a coffee a reward? Interesting way of looking at things.

Self care – Increasing your activity in this area will make a difference because: it will enhance your sense of physical well-being. True I feel better after a shower but I’m a mum and you know what, I’m still followed when I go to the toilet so taking a shower is rarely a languishing affair, let alone in the morning trying to get out for work! It helps remind you that you are a competent person. Not something I would have related to each other before now – self care and competency. I got my nails done yesterday and all I can do is pull at the weak points rather than enjoy the feel of manicured fingers but I do so love the hand massage afterwards!

Small duties – Increasing your activity in this area will make a difference because: it increases your sense of control. I didn’t care if things got out of control or debts rose. It reduces tension with others as you begin to take on a share of the work. Well I spoke about that.

Involvement with family and friends – Increasing your activity in this area will make a difference because – It will help you regain a sense of being connected to others. I don’t want to be connected with others. I want to hide. They don’t want to hear I’m having an ordinary day. It gives other people a chance to provide reassurance and support. But that would mean letting people into my depressed world that even I don’t understand! And reassurance from the wrong people is just empty platitudes. It takes you away from being alone and thinking depressed thoughts. My kids have been great company. Something J and I talked about today actually that is so important is non-judgmental company – allow the person their mood and just get on with life around them or chatter away, it does help.

It then goes into setting goals and I thought they would have to be bigger than this but one goal for example was a 15 minute walk just once a week when there was no walk in the past and to set a date to do it on. Another was to be social by having a family date but get this – once every 2 weeks!

Goals like that actually seem more manageable. J and I spoke about this weekend and we are hosting a bbq on Saturday (hubby is, I’m just planning on hiding behind the kitchen by preparing food). Hubby had wanted to go out on the bikes on Sunday but his usual is to want food and that means an early start and I really want to lie in at least one day this weekend! A compromise might be going just for a coffee later in the morning – me happy and no doubt he’ll eat too.

It’s trying to take it in really small chunks – chunks I thought would be too small though.

So my motivation today was nil. I’m wondering now what work I have actually accomplished today. I’ve been here. I’ve been here all day. I filed two piles and I’ve blogged. I’ve moved one pile of work off my desk and had another created for tomorrow’s duties. Being around my colleagues and answering phones has been about all I’ve been able for and when I do get to stop I know it will all hit me like a wall.

I’m now clock-watching for the last half hour to speed by as the office quietens down (except for one rebel). My kids are in the lunch room waiting for me to finish so I can try and buy a diary to try and write down these goals that I need to help me strike a balance.

Another thing that J so skillfully steered me towards is The ABC analysis – Activating event, Beliefs and Consequences. So this is one more thing to try and get my head around.

I thought I needed to go from A to B and then to C but when I read the info it turns out that we go from A to C and then I have to backtrack to B to find out the “why”. I’ll go into more details on the ABC’s some other time when I can get my head around them.

Today though I am going to look for a Kikki-K diary, failing that one in Koorong. I am going to walk to the car with my kids. Drive home. Get dinner. Study. Bible study. Coffee with C and whatever she feels to pray for. Tired just thinking about it, but looking forward to catching up with her.

Feeling rejuvenated somewhat from my chat with J today.



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